Sometimes combining two things makes them better. Sometimes, it makes them more than the sum of their parts. Sometimes, not so much.
This recipe was on my to do list. And it looked just ridiculous enough to try. I mean a brownie, swirled with peanut butter, and mixed with a chocolate chunk oatmeal cookie. Ridiculous and awesome sounding, right?
Another thing this recipe had going for it was that I had all the ingredients on hand. And not having to run out and buy ingredients means it moved up a bit on my list. That, and it called for a bunch of oats, which I was trying to finish up the last of. (In my pantry not, you know, in the entire world.)
There is a lot going on in this recipe, including three different chocolates. For the first chocolate, in the brownie batter, I used bulk milk chocolate that I happened to have. For the second chocolate, mixed into the brownies, I used semi-sweet chocolate chunks. For the third chocolate, split between the oatmeal cookie dough and the top of the brownies, I kinda cheated. I used more of the semi-sweet chunks for that. (I learned a lot about chocolate from this David Lebovitz post.)
Everything went swimmingly, but I did forget to chop the first bit of chocolate before melting it. I mixed everything by hand, one bowl for each part of the recipe. It was pretty straightforward to put together. Each part smelled pretty good: peanut buttery brownies and oatmealy cookies.
Once both parts were done, I moved on to putting it all together. I dropped the first brownie bits by large drops, maybe only 5 or 6 for the whole dish. Then I spooned the oatmeal cookie bits all around. I did slightly smaller dollops for the rest of the brownie bits.
Then I swirled the peanut butter around the brownie bits and then swirled some of that in with the other layers, as it wasn’t quite spread out evenly across the dish. Then I spread the rest of the chocolate chunks over the top.
I baked it for 30 minutes, but it didn’t seem quite done. I baked it for the other 5 minutes, and it seemed done at that point. I let the dish cool on a cooling rack until after dinner. It smelled lovely.
How did it taste? It was… okay. Not bad at all, just not as exciting as I was expecting. The peanut butter was inconsistently mixed, which is totally on me, so it was hit or miss on tasting that. The oatmeal bits were fine, but not amazing. The brownie bits were also fine, but nothing special. It was a little bit dry, so I might have been better off baking it a little bit less. (I understand there are a lot of “b” words in that sentence, so I apologize if you’re allergic to “b’s”.)
My wife said the two different parts were both good in their own right, but they have such different textures that she didn’t think they fit well together. Kinda like two people who are really good people on their own but who shouldn’t date each other. All in all it was perfectly fine, but I wasn’t wowed by it. I don’t think it’s a bad recipe, it’s just not what I was looking for.
If you try it out, let me know how it goes. If you happen to have any good combinations of brownie and oats, I’d love to hear about it. This is my second attempt. (You can read about the granola brownies here.) Neither of them have been show stoppers, so if you have one, I’m all ears.
Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest.